Australia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) enjoy a close bilateral relationship supported by shared regional interests, particularly ensuring maritime and transnational security, sustainable management of fisheries and a common interest in supporting economic and human development.
The RMI is a climatically vulnerable country with heavily populated low-lying atolls which are increasingly susceptible to natural disasters such as tidal surges, droughts and cyclonic storms. The primary focus of Australia’s aid to RMI in
2014-15 will be on improving access to clean, potable water and sanitation to help address water-borne and water-related diseases. Australia will provide technical assistance to the water sector and work with the Asian Development Bank to address inadequacies in water supply and sanitation systems on Ebeye, and support reforms to state owned water and energy utilities. Ebeye provides much of the workforce for the strategically important US base on Kwajalein and is one of the most densely populated and vulnerable island atolls of the Marshall Islands.
In collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, Australia will also support an enhanced economic reform programme in RMI, which will promote increased economic self-reliance. In 2014 and 2015, working with Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI), Australia will also support the implementation of the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Initiative country plan for the Marshall Islands, with a focus on reducing gender-based violence. Australia will also provide support for greater resilience to natural disasters, building on Australia’s responses to inundations in 2014 and a severe drought in RMI’s northern atolls in 2013.
Archived details of expenditure for this program for 2013–14 can be found here.
Archived details of expenditure for DFAT’s aid program, following the Government’s announcement on 18 January 2014 to revise the aid budget, can be found here.